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Commentary: A Kansas-like abortion vote in SC? Republicans won't do it, and Democrats shouldn't

David Travis Bland, The State (Columbia, S.C.) on

Published in Political News

South Carolina Republicans didn’t need Kansas to tell them that most people, even in blood-red states, support legalized abortion.

The failed Kansas referendum to constitutionally ban abortion showed Palmetto State Republicans that they need to keep doing what they’re already doing: Ignoring reality, making life worse for a chunk of South Carolinians and answering only to the most extreme of their gerrymandered bases.

A July poll found that 61% of South Carolina voters support abortion. Almost 70% believe that it’s a woman’s choice to get an abortion and that lawmakers shouldn’t interfere with that choice. Those percentages align with national polls.

The South Carolina GOP has no need for the pesky facts.

Republican lawmakers have pushed the anti-abortion narrative in South Carolina with a charade of public feedback sessions which are stacked with zealots who says things like “murderer” and “Jezebel” anytime a woman talks about having an abortion.

Listening to this vocal minority of anti-abortion advocates is causing Republicans to cannibalize each other and be eaten up by their supporters.

 

“I view all of this with frustration and contempt for the crayon-level discussion of our public discourse on this issue,” state Rep. Micah Caskey, R-Lexington, told Politico.

That Politico article was about “partisan infighting and struggling to agree on how far to go” in the Republican party when it comes to abortion, wrote reporters Megan Messerly and Alice Miranda Ollstein.

“I’m told that a year ago I was a crazy fanatic for supporting a six-week ban,” Caskey said. “Now the goal post has been moved such that if I don’t support a complete and total ban whatsoever that I’m not pro-life?”

If South Carolina were to have a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment referendum, also called a ballot initiative, on abortion like Kansas, a super majority of legislators would have to vote to put the question on the ballot. In the GOP-controlled State House, Republicans would have to be of one mind to call for the abortion ballot initiative.

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